Manda Bay is a beautiful luxury lodge in an idyllic setting just 20 minutes boat ride away from the main Lamu Island.
We left our shoes on the beach when we arrived at the island and had no cause to put them back on until the day we left!
Fishing and water sports are their speciality, and the waterskiing and fly-fishing was a great experience.
The wonderful friendly hosts make you feel so welcome and part of the family, and the food is superb.
It's an amazing experience and well worth it for that bit of island paradise luxury.
Not a place you ever want to leave!
Why not get friendly on your trip by learning a few key Swahili words!
I visited prisons in Kenya in 2005 and addressed the prisoners there in regards to their human rights and court cases.
To cut the tension (which one will need in this current political climate) start your introduction with 'mambo vipi'! The prisoners loved it because they thought it was funny coming from a Mizungo (white man). Basically, it means 'whats up?', but it worked everytime and had them rolling on the ground!
Captain Shallo and Sail Kenya run sailing safaris along the Lamu archipelago. Captain Shallo also runs sailing safaris from Kalifi between Mombasa and Malindi.
I went on the four-day Lamu sailing safari last September and would truly say it was one of my best ever holidays. Captain Shallo and the crew really make sure you have a great time - swimming in clear, warm, blue water, walking along the most powdery of white sands, visiting tiny villages along the north-eastern coast and eating great super-fresh food.
It's not a luxury comfort holiday, but a bit of an adventure combined with a lot of pleasure.
Grace of New Jambo Taxis is a female taxi driver; as a woman travelling alone she made me feel safe and was very helpful generally.
She has an office at the airport, but give her a call and she'll pick you up.
Office at JKI Airport, International Arrivals
PO Box 00514989
Tel +254-722-700127/ +254 20822011 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kibera is the largest slum in the whole of Africa. Do not go there by the local taxi because you won't see much of it. A local who lives in Kibera should be your tour guide, that's what I did when I visited it in August 2007. Kibera is definitely a fascinating place. I have lots of pics from inside Goma, Soweto and Kibera.
Small B&B (only two double rooms) run by British/Kenyan couple. Close to Nyali beach and cinema complex. Smart apartment, very comfortable and secure. Local knowledge, private parking.
A green and pleasant oasis, acres of gardens, country house architecture, and good food. Family-run proves far better than the usual chain product. Just ignore the rotary club gatherings and remember it's the 21st century.
Just west of the city centre in colonial residential area,Fairview Hotel,Bishops Road,PO Box 40842,Nairobi
A great place to sit and watch the world float by. Fantastic fresh fruit shakes at 50p a pint and good cheap food. Try your hand at Boa and if you are feeling confident take on "Papa" Hapa Hapa the cafe owner. He claims never to have been beaten, but I know different!
Lamu Town Waterfront
It may not be picture postcard perfect and may be a little frayed around the edges but it is a real living town.
The people are some of the friendliest you will encounter anywhere in the world. Within half an hour of stepping off the boat everyone will be greeting you on first name terms!
The mix of African and Arab influences in the culture and food make it a fascinating place to spend a few days. It is only a 20 minutes walk to Shela and the beautiful beaches further around the island. A great antidote to safari fatigue.
The best single days' wildlife watching: hundreds of flamingoes, lots of rhinos, hippos, birds etc. All within a fairly compact area.
Pity about the roads leading there, but a new road is being built.
North of Lake Naivasha
This is an organisation that saves orphaned elephants and rhinos, and rehabilitates them out into the wild. They also run community outreach programmes, a desnaring project and mobile veterinary unit.
You can visit the centre daily in Nairobi National Park. The visit will allow you to get up close to these magnificent animals and see them play.
Sponsoring an elephant or rhino costs $50 US per year. You can sponsor an elephant via: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org
Near the Karen area of Nairobi.
Mailing address: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya
If you need to spend a day or so in Nairobi in between safaris or are waiting for connecting flights, then you can make your stay in Nairobi an experience rather than a stop-off.
At Ngong House you can stay in one of five luxurious treehouses raised 15ft off the ground with views out over the Ngong Hills. They also have a driver on hand so you can visit some of Nairobi's attractions such as the giraffe sanctuary, elephant orphanage and
Karen Blixen Museum.
www.toescapeto.com Tel: 020 7060 6747
Outside of Nairobi it is almost impossible to use either a Maestro, Mastercard or travellers' cheques if you are not in a four or five-star lodge.
You really need US dollars in high ($50 or $100) new (post-2003) bills or a visa debit or credit card to use the ATMs. Even Barclays bank outside of Nairobi won't accept Mastercard.
Walk up Mount Kenya from the north, starting at Timau. It is a longer route than the popular one starting from Naro Moru, in the west, but one avoids the horror of the vertical bog.
It is through moorland and steady slopes. The views are superb and few other walkers are seen. It took us three days to go up and two to come down, sleeping in bunkhouses.
One ends up at the Lenana summit if a walker, however proper mountaineers can go a little higher to Batian or Nelion summits.
For variety, one can descend via the eastern side of the mountain on the Chogoria route through moorland then grassland and finally forest. Watch out for buffalo.
Most of the reputable tour operators could organise this safari. In the ten years living in Kenya this was the most memorable safari - although there were many others almost as good. It is a wonderful country.
Visit the Rift Valley with Earthwatch Institute and get to see a side of Kenya rarely seen by tourists.
Rising at dawn with a team of dedicated scientists, you will be taken to remote areas of the Lakes region to study flamingos among the bubbling lakes of Bogoria, gather insects in the acadia trees or study the unique flora of this beautiful region.
Forget the big five, if you love nature visit the Rift.
On the subject of lodges versus camping, it really doesn't matter to the animals how much you have paid. I went on a budget camping safari and saw the big five within the first day - including both black and white rhino, so many lions I lost count and three leopards.
The most important thing is to talk to your guide beforehand and ask lots of questions. The more knowledge they have, the better your chances of spotting some amazing animals.
This is a great introduction to one of Africa's most glamourous animals. They pose like supermodels and the wardens are extremely knowledgeable. On top of all that, you get to feed the giraffe at their head height which is a breathtaking experience.
Giraffe Centre, Karen, Nairobi
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